Stephanie Daga | Date posted: March 10th, 2010
I’m not talking about the game where you throw pointy metal objects at the wall in some seedy college bar. (I’m actually pretty good at that—and hanging out at the seedy bars, too.) No, what I suck at is getting the darts on my DIY skirt to sit perfect and flat. My patience is spent, and I’m at the point where I’m wondering if they’re even important (read: necessary) at all. Really, how important can they be?
Pretty important, it turns out. Ask any skilled sewer and she’ll tell you that yes, darts do serve a purpose. And that purpose is to give shape and curve to a garment. Since women are blessed with hips and thighs and tushes, curves in a garment are of the utmost importance. Hence, the need for tricky, frustrating, time-consuming darts. Sure, you could make a skirt that doesn’t involve darts, but it’s not going to be very flattering to your tush (and if you have a tush like mine, you need all the flattery you can get). So, basically your options are either to pair every shirt you have with a large brown paper bag bottom and achieve the same effect, or to embrace the dart. Hard choice, huh?
The good news is that learning the art of the dart isn’t all that difficult. The key is correctly marking it on your fabric. To do this, you need professional tracing paper and a tracing wheel. Mark the lines of the dart, including a centre line if there is one, as well as the circles, which are important for matching up the lines.
After you’ve marked your dart, fold it so the two lines meet. To make sure they’re even, you need to pin from the circle mark of one line through to its counterpart on the other line. Once they’re matched, re-pin to hold the fold, but keep the pins out of the way of your stitch line. Then, when it comes time to stitch, start from the widest part of the dart, and continue down to the point. Keep your stitches even and tight, being sure to avoid any puckering.
Now here’s a trick: leave long trails of thread both at the beginning of the dart and at the point. Tie tight knots at each end to keep the stitches secure, and you should notice that the little bubble at the point of your dart no longer exists. Beautiful!
And there you have it. In retrospect, maybe darts aren’t that overwhelming. Yes, they’re work, and they take some serious practice before you can claim victory over them. Just don’t let them intimidate you—trust me, your tush will thank you!
TAGS: Sewing Technique
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